Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tangible Tidbits 2011 #50: Still Unconnected and Making Changes

Hey, all! Sorry I missed you last week. I had my nieces over all weekend and I'm still experiencing computer problems, even though the malware scanner the guys at work gave me keeps coming up clean. I am writing to you from my Netbook in my kitchen, as the idea of turning on the computer upstairs and "fighting" with it does nothing for me. I dragged out the Netbook on Tuesday night, and I still have some upgrading to do before I can more or less use it as my primary computer. In addition, I keep getting a "no connection" message on my my own house that has a WiFi connection! Needless to say, the Universe seems to be conspiring to keep me unconnected. :p

I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday night, getting my five pieces ready to submit for Woolpunk Studios' STOCK'N STUFFrz event this weekend. One of the clasps on a necklace I made early on needed replacing, but I hadn't connected the piece to jump rings between the chain and the clasp, so I could not disconnect the clasp without destroying the piece. I have to remember not to do that anymore! :p Anyway, I ended up coiling thin wire around the toggle hoop and bar, so it looks better now. I showed my coworker the next day, since she was delivering the pieces for me. She said it looks like it requires a lot of patience! Especially that late at night. :)

My pieces sold fairly well at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center the previous weekend. I sold the beaded Crystal Geode, a ring, a bookmark, and another pair of earrings, in addition to the necklace and earrings I sold from the exhibit to a friend. I also sold another necklace and two more pairs of earrings separately last weekend. All in all, this Holiday season seems to be going fairly well. :)

As you may recall, I attended a Chinese knotting workshop last Saturday. I had a lot of fun learning how to make four-, five-, and eight-strand braids, Snake knots, Button knots, rolled satin nylon chains, and a criss-cross knot that I am still having problems making. We covered a lot of material in a relatively short period of time, so I spent some time this week working on these techniques to help commit them to memory. ;)

I am seriously thinking about discontinuing the Virtual Mall in the New Year. I've been spending a lot of time, money, and energy on it...and after 1-1/2 years, I don't feel I'm getting enough back from the effort. I'd rather spend the money updating the store on my website, as I have not had the time to do that myself for quite a while. Originally, I took that over from the web designer to save money, but it's not working out. I don't think I've updated the store in almost six months, if not longer. And the time I spend posting links to the Virtual Mall Facebook page could be better spent on administrative tasks or creating new pieces. I haven't updated my financial spreadsheet since the summer, and I have to get working on that to give it to the accountant for tax preparation. Ideally, I will have more time to keep on top of these things, rather than constantly playing catch-up at the last minute. :\ I won't shut the Virtual Mall down completely right away, as I have to meet minimum commission rates in order to close out some of my affiliate accounts, but I hope to have everything resolved by the summer.

Although I have completed my Christmas shopping, I still have gifts to wrap. My little elves (read: nieces) helped me wrap the gifts I had here last Sunday, but I was only about half done shopping at that point. They are coming over this Friday afternoon to help me bake cookies for the family party on if I don't get it all done by then, they can hopefully come to my rescue again. ;)

As next Sunday is Christmas and Hanukkah is this week, I believe, I will wish you all Happy Holidays now. Best wishes to you all! :D

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